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  1. #1
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    Lot of play in bushings, what parts do I need to buy?

    Hi,

    After two years of duty my AM has developed severe play in some of the bushings, the holes are actually ovalized.

    Do I need to buy the plastic bushings only or do I need to buy the ceramic coated axles as well?

    Regards / Mike

  2. #2
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    mikael_nr1 - if your lucky and that play has occurred within short time-frame, you`ll need only those plastic (delrin?) bushings. In another case, axles are ovalized too and at least their coating is broken. When opening those pivots, you`ll see what are needed - takes only few minutes to check that.

    Personally I don`t like those plastic bushings, when they are new everything`s fine - small tolerances etc.... But after year or two, inner surface of those plastic thingies brokes and after that, very soon holes are shaped ovals ... Mine lasted ~500 hours, changed those bloody plastics to needle bearings and those coated alu-axles to steel axles everywhere else than in horst-links. Much smoother, much better.

    This poor construction of pivot bushings is one reason why my next frame is not Nicolai.

  3. #3
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    Okay that's ashame, coating has indeed broken on the axles. Agree, Not a good design. I expected to have needle bearings when I bought the frame :/

  4. #4
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    but then its been 2 years. how often have you serviced them? the steel pins and roller bearings go just as quick if not looked after.
    www.gravity-sports.co.uk

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  5. #5
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    I've serviced them twice. I ride less than once a week in the summer and about once a month during winter, so wear on bushings hasn't been excessive. Maybe it's a bit hard to call it a bad design, but I expected to be able to adjust preload to compensate for wear, but the bushings went from just fine to severely ovalized in a very short time so I never had the chance to do that.

    Dipper, do you know how much new bushings and axles will cost me? Nicolai aren't responding to my emails now, probably due to Eurobike.

    Cheers / Mike

  6. #6
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    I'd have to double check but off the top of my head I think it's @ 120 for a full set but chances are you only need the main pivot kit and some washers? I did get an AM in a while back that had scoffed the main pivot axle in a surprisingly short time. I suspected a bit of user error at the time but I noticed the replacement axle had a different finish so maybe there was an issue with some early ones. That's just speculation though.

    I suspect if he'd acted quicker we'd have got away with just replacing the axle but he rode it for quite a while which resulted in a fair bit of wear to the shock linkage washers. Horst link was fine.
    www.gravity-sports.co.uk

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  7. #7
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    In my case Horst and main pivot is fine. It's the rocker links that are worn out. I'll probably buy the whole set any way to have some spares @ home.

  8. #8
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    Dipper what's the 'usual' time between bushing / axle replacement for the AM in your experience? Its a bit 'how long is a piece of string' I know - Say the bike is used 2 times a week in harsh conditions

    Thanks, Max

  9. #9
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    The dimensions are the same so it's possible to use either alu or steel axles on the AM but of course steel adds weight. The AC and AM (which is when they switched to aluminium) have been around a few years now and most people have been fine with it.

    140 for a complete set now but as Dipper says, very rare to need all the parts. I recommend buying a complete set to start with then keeping it topped up with what you use after that (you really want to have everything to hand when you strip the bike down).
    Simon Still
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    www.nicolai-uk.com

  10. #10
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    Max
    Ive not had to do that many which probably says a lot!

    Ive stripped a 3 year old AM which was still perfect and done a 12 month old AM as mentioned which was badly worn. my afr is fine after 2 years and our demo/staff AM is fine after 18months.

    I'd do as Simon said and buy a kit and use as required. Early intervention of 1 worn pivot will prevent increased wear on the rest. Keep them clean, greased and the washers preloaded and you will get the most out of them
    www.gravity-sports.co.uk

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicolai-uk View Post
    The dimensions are the same so it's possible to use either alu or steel axles on the AM but of course steel adds weight. ....
    Are you sure that dimensions are the same? Ive both, steel axle and alu axle for AC/AM main pivot, both from Nicolai and dimensions are not the same - steel axle (for needle bearings) is 1,2 mm shorter than alu-axle (for those plastics..) - both works, but just wondering is my steel axle somehow strange...

  12. #12
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    Mmmmmhhh... this is no good news.

    I'll keep an eye on mine, but coming from a bike that ran for about 5yrs on original bearings with absolutely no play and parts that were like 50 dollars for a full set, it feels like going backwards.

    This is definitively an area where there's room for improvement.

    HL bushings are overkill on these bikes, I agree. They should last a few years.
    But the main pivot has me a little concerned.

    What's the going price for a set of complete bearing/axle set and the punch to drive them out?
    I guess I'll stock replacements now that I can.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by pergamonx View Post
    Are you sure that dimensions are the same? .
    Looks like I was wrong.

    AC and AM Alu axles are 64mm and 72mm

    CC Steel axles are 62.5 and 72.5. They're machined accurately so there must be some logic to this - I'll try to find out sometime.
    Simon Still
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    www.nicolai-uk.com

  14. #14
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    Dead post... Definitively, Nicolai knows what they're doing.


    Simon, can you confirm if the CC axle can be used?
    Nicolai doesn't list any steel axle on their page for either the AM or AC. The one for the FR seems to be much longer (90mm).

    I'll be ordering spares just in case.
    Last edited by Warp; 09-11-2011 at 09:09 PM. Reason: Nevermind... need more coffee....
    Check my Site

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicolai-uk View Post
    AC and AM Alu axles are 64mm and 72mm. CC Steel axles are 62.5 and 72.5. They're machined accurately so there must be some logic to this - I'll try to find out sometime.
    Those steel-axles are old ones, when there was needle bearings in pivots instead of those bushings. They are still available, by request, but probably not listed in spare part lists. Steel axle is shorter, axle should ends in the outer end of needles inside bearings.

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